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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Daily Drift

 Yep, that'd do it ..!
 
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Today in History

480 BC The Persian army defeats Leonidas and his Spartan army at the battle Thermopylae, Persia.
48 BC Julius Caesar defeats Gnaius Pompey at Pharsalus.
1483 Pope Sixtus IV celebrates the first mass in the Sistine Chapel, which is named in his honor.
1549 England declares war on France.
1645 Settlers in New Amsterdam gain peace with the Indians after conducting talks with the Mohawks.
1805 Austria joins Britain, Russia, Sweden and the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia in the third coalition against France.
1814 Andrew Jackson and the Creek Indians sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, giving the whites 23 million acres of Creek territory.
1842 The Webster-Ashburn treaty fixes the border between Maine and Canada's New Brunswick.
1859 The escalator is patented. However, the first working escalator appeared in 1900. Manufactured by the Otis Elevator Company for the Paris Exposition, it was installed in a Philadelphia office building the following year.
1862 At Cedar Mountain, Virginia, Confederate General "Stonewall" Jackson repels an attack by Union forces.
1910 The first complete, self-contained electric washing machine is patented.
1930 First appearance of the animated character Betty Boop ("Dizzy Dishes").
1936 Jesse Owens wins four gold medals in track and field events at the Berlin Olympics.
1941 President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill meet at Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. The meeting produces the Atlantic Charter, an agreement between the two countries on war aims, even though the United States is still a neutral country.
1944 Fictional character Smokey the Bear ("Only you can prevent forest fires") created by US Forest Service and the Ad Council.
1945 The B-29 bomber Bock's Car drops a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.
1965 Singapore expelled from Malaysia following economic disagreements and racial tensions; becomes independent republic.
1969 Charles Manson's followers kill actress Sharon Tate and her three guests in her Beverly Hills home.
1971 Le Roy (Satchel) Paige inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame.
1974 Gerald Ford is sworn in as president of the United States after the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
1975 First NFL game in Louisiana Superdome; Houston Oilers defeat New Orleans Saints 13-7.
1979 England's first major nude beach established, at the seaside resort of Brighton.
1992 Twenty-fifth Olympic Summer Games closes in Barcelona, Spain.
1999 Russian president Boris Yeltsin fires his prime minister and, for the fourth time, fires the entire cabinet.
1999 The Diet of Japan establishes the country's official national flag, the Hinomaru, and national anthem, "Kimi Ga Yo.".

Non Sequitur

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Did you know ...

That Wall Street has raked in almost a billion dollars helping companies move overseas to dodge taxes
That these are the companies abandoning the U.S.  to dodge taxes
Is the FBI creating terrorists to pad convictions rates?
That the new Lego set of all-female scientists sells out in a day
That NYC's smallest piece of private property is the size of a large slice of pizza
That America's wealthiest are increasingly 'earning' their fortunes by inheriting it
Here's top 10 reasons we're against unions
That someone left the (wedding) cake out in the rain
That the VA scandal exposes the folly of metrics
Beware the mayfly
Here's a map of Boston with a 7.5 coastal flood
That the University of Chicago has an underground robot library
That the war on women rages in Texas
That a man shoots 17-year-old girl after she tells him not to drive his lawnmower over her property
That Big-Pharma hasn't developed Ebola vaccine 'because virus only affects Africans' says UK top doc
Here's confused cats against feminism
That Mary Poppins (really Kristen Bell) got the minimum wage wrong
That America's biggest nuclear dump is still leaking
About the auction based on emotions
About Galaxy Quest: an oral history
That there is no link whatsoever between CEO pay and performance
Don't let your kid become an ivy-league zombie
That sometimes "what would Reagan do?" is the wrong question
About the CIA and Dr. Zhivago

Fired Up Democrats Unveil A List Of Bills They Will Pass If They Take Back The House

Democrats say, "We think Americans want a Congress that is on its side." And they promise to pass legislation to back up that promise within 100 days of…
Dem Jumpstart
House Democrats are on the warpath. They’ve upped the ante against House repugicans by coming up with an entire slate of legislation meant to address the actual concerns of actual citizens. They’re calling it Middle Class Jumpstart. It’s meant to jumpstart the middle class and those trying to get into the middle class.
House Democrats are promising to pass this legislation within 100 days a Democratic House Majority.
They say the Jumpstart puts the middle class ahead of special interests. Jumpstart has three prongs: Good paying jobs, support for women, and affordable and accessible education.
In a phone conference with reporters today, Leader Pelosi explained, “It’s a very positive agenda… These are issues the public has been telling us they are concerned about.” Pelosi said the economy is improving, but the folks at home still have concerns. What Democrats are promising isn’t just rhetoric, “For every initiative we are putting forth, we have legislation to match it.” She continued, “One of the things we can do is bring repugicans around, but it won’t help to elect more people with the same agenda.”
Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that a key point in their plan is the “Make it in America” plan, “Something both sides agree on and has bipartisan support, which will expand manufacturing so we can get good paying jobs.” The Democrats want to give tax breaks to folks who create jobs here – “on-shoring” jobs, as opposed to repugicans who have worked hard to protect the tax breaks for companies that offshore.
Hoyer talked about the difference between repugicans and Democrats, using the repuican refusal to help during Sandy as an example of how the repugican approach is “You’re on your own.”
He said that the Jumpstart plan will show Americans that the Democrats are on their side and armed with a plan to help, “It will be clear to Americans that no only do we have a plan, but we are on their side, while repugicans have been telling Americans ‘You’re on your own’. A perfect example is when Sandy hit the coast, and repugicans said ‘We’re not going to help.’”
Hoyer hit the sweet spot when he said, “We think Americans want a Congress that is on its side.” If that is possible, it is surely what the public not only wants and needs, but deserves.
The Democrats’ Make It In America plan:
• repugicans voted to give tax breaks to companies that ship American jobs overseas
• Democrats will introduce the “21st Century Make It In America Act” to provide tax incentives for creating good-paying jobs here at home
• repugicans blocked legislation to make long-term investments in our nation’s aging highway system and opposed creating clean energy jobs of the future
• House Democrats will pass the “Build America Bonds Act” to boost job growth and modernize America’s infrastructure by building roads, bridges, broadband technology and investing in clean energy initiatives – paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes
• repugicans refused to raise the minimum wage but gave massive tax giveaways to corporate special interests and the ultra-wealthy
House Democrats will pass the “Fair Minimum Wage Act” and the “CEO/Employee Pay Fairness Act” to deny CEOs the ability to claim tax deductions for pay over $1 million unless they give their employees a raise
Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-SC) drew attention to the fact that our children are on the table this election, saying, “People are scared for their children.” Clyburn touched on how his own deep red state of South Carolina refused to expand Medicaid, something that impacts children.
Clyburn called out the media for not covering the issues of the People, “The media will not be our friends,” he started, before Leader Pelosi cut him off to diplomatically point out that the media were on the call, “Let’s hope that they will, especially those on the call, and thank you for the focus on children.”
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) detailed what Pelosi called “woman-onomics” – which is basically a comprehensive economic program, including the Paycheck Fairness Act, “Healthy Families Act” to ensure paid sick leave for men and women, and increase access to affordable child care, and strengthen the “Violence Against Women Act” and will expand women’s access to comprehensive health care and family planning. DeLauro said these changes were “long overdue.”
The repugicans voted no on equal pay for women, voted against paid sick leave, voted to turn the Violence Against Women Act into a Pro-Violence Against Women Act, and voted to defund Planned Parenthood.
For education, Dems promise to pass:
• House Democrats will pass the “Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act” to help Americans refinance their college loans to new, lower rates, and will increase access to Pell Grants for higher education
• House Democrats will pass the “Strong Start for America’s Children Act” to increase access to effective early childhood learning
So much for the “both parties are the same” meme. Policy talks.
The repugicans have made it very easy for Democrats to use the repugican cabal’s record against them in the 2014 midterm elections.

As The Voting Right Act Turns 49, Patriot Nancy Pelosi Stands Up For The Right To Vote

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi used the VRA anniversary to call out this injustice and demand that Congress pass a stronger VRA in answer to the Supreme Court's…
VotingRightsActProtest
This past week marked the 49th anniversary of the date the Voting Rights Act was signed into law in 1965. It’s rather heart-breaking to see how the country has backtracked since then, with the wingnut Supreme Court dismantling the act in tandem with repugicans finding new ways to keep people who don’t vote repugican from casting a ballot. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi used the VRA anniversary to call out this injustice and demand that Congress pass a stronger VRA in answer to the Supreme Court’s disempowering of it.
In a statement, Leader Pelosi reminded everyone that at the signing, President Johnson called the Voting Rights Act a “triumph for freedom as huge as any victory that has ever been won on any battlefield.”
Pelosi pointed out that there are far too many people still fighting for their right to vote, “Forty-nine years after the signing of this landmark law, we are still fighting for the right of all Americans to participate in our democracy. In too many places across the country, we have seen efforts to deny Americans their right to be heard at the ballot box; attempts to suppress the vote by raising new barriers, and dismantling vital protections.”
The Democratic House Leader called on Congress to rectify the damage done to freedom by this Supreme Court, “Voting rights are essential to who we are as Americans, to the cause of equality and to the strength of our democracy. The Supreme Court’s decision weakening the Voting Rights Act must not go unanswered. Congress must act swiftly to pass a renewed, revised and strengthened Voting Rights Act, and ensure that every citizen has the right to vote and every vote is counted as cast.”
The idea that everyone can vote, no matter their financial or property status, is inherently American. For some reason, our press has allowed repugicans to couch the theft of this liberty as attempts to protect the vote. And yet, repugican legislation and rules only target those who tend not to vote repugican.
The repugicans don’t trust that they can compete against Democrats on a fair playing field, and so they have spent a lot of money and many years targeting the poor, minorities, and women in order to make it harder for them to vote. These efforts are a slap in the face to American values.
A real patriot stands up for everyone’s right to vote, even the people with whom they disagree.

The tea party Pushes Democrats Towards Victory By Declaring National Impeach Obama Week

The tea partiers are doing what they do best, helping Democrats win elections by declaring August 23 to be National Impeach Obama Week.…

The tea party is an out of control entity full of birthers and fringers that the repugican cabal only thought they had control over. So, yet another fail courtesy of the tea party for the repugican cabal. This time, it’s Obama impeachment craze. Even as repugican leaders try to pretend they aren’t heading toward impeachment, all signs to reality tell quite another story.
tea party impeach
As Democrats raise record amounts of cash and rile up their usually-not-engaged-for-the-midterms-base off of Boehner’s misguided and partisan Hail Mary aka the Obama lawsuit, repugicans won’t shut up about impeaching Obama. The more they talk, the more Democrats raise and the angrier the Democratic base gets. The angrier the base gets, the more they commit to voting to protect their President– and no matter what the press tells you, this base loves this President. He is “their President.” They don’t like watching him get picked on.
Here comes the fail.
In other words, these are not people the repugican cabal wants to be associated with come election time. These are the crazies that the repugican cabal uses with cheap fear tactics – the easily manipulated and easily conned to vote against their own interests. But there is a political cost to cheap shots and negativity. Caitlin MacNeal at Talking Points Memo noted dryly, “Only a few groups have endorsed the impeachment week so far, including the tea party patriots of Brookhaven in New York and the Ventura County tea party in California.”
It’s also very John Boehner-esque that wingnuts have been calling for Obama to be impeached long before many of these alleged/fantasized/invented events ever happened. They’ve been on the desperate hunt for a cause to impeach Obama since he beat them in the first election.
If repugicans had ever actually read Obama’s books, they would know that he admits to being excellent at using things like this against the perpetrators. But repugicans underestimate Obama at every turn, even as they writhe in jealousy over his Kennedy-esque charisma. The repugicans are blinded by hubris and never seem to learn from their past mistakes, so they don’t see “Please proceed” even when it’s coming at them 200 MPH. Or lipstick on a pig.
Yesterday I noted that by failing to take reasonable action on immigration and the border crisis, repugicans were setting President Obama up for impeachment. They are forcing him to either let Rome burn/abrogate his duties or stretch the powers of the executive office. They are counting on the fact that Obama is not as irresponsible as the repugican cabal and therefor will not put his political self ahead of the country’s responsibilities.
But what they aren’t counting on is the mountain of cash Democrats are raising. The riled up base. And a President who excels at using other people’s cheap shots against them. Just ask Sarah Palin how that whole “pallin‘ around with terrorists” thing worked out for her.
It’s Impeach Obama Week, y’all! Get your tin foil hat and kick up your Obama Derangement Syndrome into high gear, the party is starting just in time for the public to remember it come November.

American Voters Soundly Reject repugican Strategy To Eliminate Obamacare Subsidies

obamacare is awesome/   [CC image credit: Will O'Neill | Flickr.]

A national tracking poll on healthcare, released by Morning Consult on Tuesday, reveals that only 15% of registered voters agree with opponents of the Affordable Care Act that federal subsidies should only be available to those who signed up on a state-based health exchange. This poll was done in the aftermath of last month’s ruling by the D.C. Court of Appeals. In Halbig v. Burwell, the three-judge panel, in a 2-1 decision, stated that only those who purchased insurance through state-based health exchanges are eligible for subsidies through the ACA. On the same day, another federal court offered a completely opposite decision in a similar case, stating that the intent of the law was clear and that all purchasers are eligible for subsidies and tax credits, not just those who went through a state exchange.
The poll shows that the American public has no appetite for another repugican-led war against Obamacare. While the survey shows that 27% of voters have no real opinion on the issue of ACA subsidies, likely due to a lack of familiarity with the Halbig case and wingnut efforts to take them away from millions of Americans, 58% say that Obamacare subsidies should be available to everyone. That clearly shows that people are not in favor of taking away subsidies from the millions of residents in the 36 states that have not set up their own exchanges.
Even repugican voters aren’t buying this load of crap that subsidies were only meant for those who purchase their insurance through a state marketplace. 49% of repugicans are in favor of subsidies being available to everyone while only 23% say that it should only go to those who purchased insurance through their state’s exchange. Independents were in favor by a 50% to 16% margin while 71% of Democrats think subsidies should be widely available to only 7% who think it should be based on the state health exchanges.
This represents an enormous problem for wingnuts who have been pushing this attempt to dismantle an essential component of the Affordable Care Act. The repugicans, in their zeal to finally bring down Obamacare, decided to focus on ambiguous language within the law that seemingly stated that only those who purchased health insurance through a state-based exchange could qualify for various subsidies and tax credits. Even though it is obvious that the intent of the law is to provide every healthcare consumer with the allowable assistance needed to purchase insurance, wingnuts determined their best course of action was to take a simple drafting error and use it as their inroad to destroy Obamacare.
At this point, if repugicans are successful in getting the subsidies taken away from millions of people, how in the heck do they sell that as a positive to voters? “Hey, we made insurance unnecessarily more expensive for you. But, we had to because of Obama. Vote for us!” Seriously, instead of just quickly passing a one-page bill in Congress to correct the drafting error in the law, repugicans are hoping to go to the Supreme Court with a case in the hopes that they can make health coverage harder to obtain for millions of Americans. Why? So they can prove that the law is “unworkable.”
As with immigration reform, repugicans are purposely shooting themselves in the foot due to some harebrained notion that in the end, it will hurt Obama and therefore help the repugican cabal in the long run. It is an idiotic direction to take. Yet, here we are.

Tom Cotton praises disaster relief program he voted against

Tom Cotton (r), who is challenging Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas this November, sent out a press release yesterday celebrating the speedy approval of disaster relief funds for Arkansas farmers impacted by crop losses after recent flooding. Good news, right? Who could ever be against that?
    "I appreciate Secretary Vilsack's quick approval of Governor Beebe's disaster declaration request for the 23 impacted counties," Cotton said in a joint press release with the Arkansas congressional delegation. "I have heard from many farmers about the impact of the recent flooding, and I look forward to working with our friends in Arkansas to make sure farmers are able to access the emergency funds they need.
As it turns out, Tom Cotton was against that. As the Pryor campaign pointed out, the program granting these recovery funds was part of the 2014 Farm Bill, and Tom Cotton was against the Farm Bill. He was the only member of the Arkansas repugican delegation to vote against it, and is proud of it.

Explosive New Research Confirms That The Economy Grows More Under Democratic Presidents


New research by two Harvard economists proves that Democratic presidents do a better job of growing the economy than repugicans.
Jared Bernstein summed up the findings of economists Alan Blinder and Mark Watson:
bill-clinton-barack-obamaThe two looked at key macroeconomic variables averaged over 64 years (16 four-year terms), from Harry Truman to Barack Obama. Mr. Blinder and Mr. Watson focus mostly on the 1.8 percent annual difference in real G.D.P. growth. That is, over the full study, real G.D.P. growth averaged 3.33 percent per year. But under Democratic presidents the economy grew 4.35 percent and under repugicans 2.54 percent.
Under Democratic presidents, the economy also spent fewer quarters in recession; added more jobs and more hours worked; and posted larger declines in unemployment and higher corporate profits than under their repugican counterparts. Stock market returns were a lot higher under Democrats as well, but because equity markets are so volatile, that difference is not statistically significant. (By the way, since March 2009, the S.&P. stock index is up 160 percent).
The repugicans have long claimed that Democrats inherit a better economy when they take office, but the Blinder/Watson paper reveals that the opposite is true. Democrats leave the economy in good shape, and repugicans drive it into a recession, “The figure also shows that Democrats inherit growth rates averaging 0.6% from the final year of the previous repugican president, while repugicans inherit growth rates averaging 3.8% from outgoing Democrats. Thus, the election of a Democrat seems to turn things around on a dime while the election of a new repugican seems to signal a recession.”
The economists could answer the question of why Democratic presidents grow the economy better than repugicans through an examination of economic factors such as monetary policy, outside shocks to the economy, wars, etc., while political ideology doesn’t control the cycle of the economy, policy choices can help or hinder economic growth.
Data has consistently shown that tax cuts for the wealthy don’t grow the economy. In fact, tax cuts can hinder economic growth. Unlike poor and middle-class people, the wealthy don’t put the benefits that they receive back into the economy. When a person in the middle class gets a tax cut, they spend the money to pay bills or buy needed goods and services. The wealthy and corporations tend to not spend money that is a gained from tax cuts.
The Great Recession has demonstrated that the economy grows less when the government cuts taxes for those at the top while slashing spending. The tax-cutting strategies by repugican governors in states like Kansas and Wisconsin have caused those states to lag behind the rest of the nation in job creation. Meanwhile, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown did the exact opposite in California. Voters raised taxes for everyone, and the state now has the third strongest economy in the country.
One of the main reasons why the recovery from the current recession has been so slow is because repugicans have refused to raise taxes and increase spending. The fact that the economy is beginning to take off after taxes were raised on the wealthy suggests that repugicans are holding the economy back by clinging to an economic ideology that has been unsuccessful for decades.
Political choices do make a difference. If growing the economy was as easy as just electing Democrats, repugicans would never win another election. It is more complicated than just winning elections, but it is clear that Democratic presidents have more success with growing the economy because they aren’t welded to one ideology.
It is now a proven fact that Democratic presidents are better at growing the economy. The repugican snake oil and pipe dream promises that tax cuts for the wealthy will lead to prosperity for all has once again been debunked by facts and data.

The Truth Is That It’s repugicans Who Have Been Waging War On Poor Whites

House repugicans have particularly targeted poor white people in Southern red states with Draconian budget cuts to social programs including food stamps, housing assistance, and healthcare.…

A sure sign of fear mongering is putting words in other people’s mouths to incite suspicion and hatred against a certain group through the use of propaganda. It is nearly guaranteed that when fear mongering with racial propaganda comes to light, it is certain that repugicans are investing in racial divisiveness for political expediency.
image
The racial divisiveness was particularly evident in the repugican primary in 2012, and during the general election campaign of Willard Romney, when Republicans accused President Obama of stealing from white people to give to, as Rick Santorum said, “blaaah…people.” Indeed, anyone with a pulse, or cognitive abilities of an amoeba, did not need a commentator to inform them repugicans were waging a war on minorities, because everywhere one turned a repugican was defaming people of color as “moochers,” a drain on the country, and guilty of stealing from white people.
Earlier in the week, repugican Mo Brooks (Ala) decided to take a different approach to repugican divisive politics and accuse Democrats, particularly President Obama, of waging a war on white people because there is a midterm election in the offing and immigration is once again rearing its xenophobic head. Brooks said the immigration “issue” is “part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else.”
Now, if Brooks had any proof Democrats were claiming that “whites hate everybody else,” he failed to present any evidence, but that is the primary feature of blatant mendacity according to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels; “tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Likely, many “whites” already believe the lie that President Obama is waging war on whites in the same manner they believe the lie he is waging a war on christianity, democracy, the Constitution, and whichever target du jour repugicans can dream up.
Brooks was not finished, he continued that “It’s part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things.” Brooks took the typical repugican approach of projecting repugican tactics on Democrats and the President, and if one examines the actions of repugicans, particularly in deep red states, there is a war on white people being waged, but it is not President Obama or Democrats; it is repugicans.
First, nothing this President has proposed since he has been in office singles out any particular demographic for greater benefits or a racial assault. Whether it was the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expansion, calls to raise the minimum wage, extend unemployment benefits, bringing manufacturing jobs back to America, or creating job opportunities for Veterans; those propositions were for all Americans regardless of color and Brooks knows it. However, although repugicans have targeted people of color for decades, House repugicans have particularly targeted poor white people in Southern red states with Draconian budget cuts to social programs including food stamps, housing assistance, and healthcare. At the state level, repugicans in Southern states perpetuate near-slave wages, refuse to accept free Medicaid expansion, and transfer public school funding to private religious schools poor whites can hardly afford.
It is hardly mentioned in mainstream media, or repugican circles, but statistics reveal that what is typical across the South the most beneficiaries of the SNAP (food stamp) program is a Kentucky county that is 99.22% white and 95% repugican. Slashing food stamps is a favorite ploy of repugicans claiming it is their way to save white people’s tax dollars from going to minorities. It is fairly common knowledge that red Southern states are the most prolific government-takers in U.S. existence and leading the war on “government takers” are repugicans in Congress; not Democrats and not President Obama. In fact, according to the Census Bureau, the highest percentage of Americans in poverty belong to the white race (42%) and they are taking the brunt of repugicans’ attack on anti-poverty programs like SNAP, heating and housing assistance, healthcare, Medicaid, and particularly anti-poverty measures affecting children; very poor white children in repugican Southern states.
The repugicans are not only waging war on poor whites in southern states, they are religiously attacking middle class whites. Beginning in 2011, repugican-led states assailed public sector unions, particularly teacher unions, where 83% of the workforce is white according to a Harvard Educational Review study. Besides cutting teacher salaries and banning collective bargaining agreements, repugicans have went on a tear to rob all public sector employees’ pensions to make room for greater tax cuts for corporations. the repugican states have also slashed their public sector workforces since the repugican recession, and although it adversely affect Blacks, they only make up14.5% of the workforce; whites took the brunt of the repugicans’ jobs killed, pay cuts, and pension thefts.
There is no more a Democratic or Obama war on whites than there is a war on Xmas, religious freedom, heterosexual marriage, or a propaganda campaign telling minorities that whites “hate everyone else.” There is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a high percentage of white repugicans that hate minorities as evidenced by men like Paul Ryan who use racist dog whistles repugicans know garners support from their older, whiter, and racist base. It is still a mystery why poor white voters support repugicans when their heroes are waging a very substantial war on them, unless one factors in their deep racial animus toward President Barack Obama.
President Obama has consistently spoke out for all Americans in spite of the fierce racism against him that erupted before he was sworn in as President. There is a war on whites, especially the predominately poor whites in Southern states with repugicans in charge whether they pass right-to-work (for less) laws, reject Medicaid expansion, or in Congress where repugicans make drastic cuts to social programs that affects the disproportionally high rate of poor white people in Southern red states.
It is true that repugicans are waging a war on all Americans that are not part of the wealthy elite class, but like their poor Southern white base, they have targeted middle class whites for their wrath and Mo Brooks knows because he dependably votes to cut domestic programs, kill job programs, cut food stamps, healthcare, opposes raising the minimum wage, or extending unemployment benefits that affects white people at a higher rate than minorities.

The Most Mainstream Of Mainstream Media Obliterates The repugican cabal’s 'War On Whites' Meme


tea-party-racistIn an op-ed published Wednesday by the New York Times, columnist Charles M. Blow destroyed the recent assertion by repugican Mo Brooks that Democrats and President Obama are waging a war against white people. During an appearance on wingnut hate radio hack Laura Ingraham’s show on Monday, Brooks claimed that the Democratic Party is using a strategy to divide everyone by race and show that “whites hate everybody else.” After Ingraham had played a clip from Ron Fournier of the National Journal saying that the repugican cabal has a real problem with Hispanics and that it is becoming the party of white people, Brooks made the following comments:
“This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else. It’s part of the strategy that Barack Obama implemented in 2008, continued in 2012, where he divides us all on race, on sex, greed, envy, class warfare, all those kinds of things.”
Brooks later double-downed on his statement in an interview with USA Today.
“It is repugnant for Democrats time after time after time to resort to cries of racism to divide Americans and drive up voter turn out,” Brooks said. “That is exactly what they are doing in order to drive up their vote and they are doing it when there is no racial discrimination involved.”
In fact, Brooks added, “if you look at current federal law, there is only one skin color that you can lawfully discriminate against. That’s Caucasians — whites.”
Brooks said he stands by his language accusing Democrats of a ‘war on whites’ because “I want Democrats held accountable . . . if Americans want a political party that regularly stokes unfounded racial fears, well then vote Democrat.”
Blow took Brooks and the repugican cabal to task for these absurd statements. He highlighted the repugican cabal’s disgusting history of demonizing minorities in an effort to gain a political advantage with white voters. Blow pointed out that ever since Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, the repugican cabal has resorted to several different tactics to stoke racial fears in an attempt to drive more white voters to the repugican cabal. Whether it was Richard Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy’ or his extremely costly and ineffective War on Drugs, for over 40 years repugicans have looked at ways to disparage blacks and other minorities to appeal to the prejudices of certain white Americans.
Blow also pointed out that this didn’t stop with Nixon. Ronald Reagan continued the tradition throughout the Seventies and Eighties. Reagan infamously gave rise to the ‘Welfare Queen,’ a made-up person created solely to get white voters to think blacks were gaming the system. Blow also highlighted the disgusting Willie Horton ads used against Michael Dukakis during the 1988 Presidential election that likely cost Dukakis the White House.
The column also featured many of the repugican cabal’s awful race-baiting tactics in the past few years, showing that the repugican cabal has been the one ‘playing the race card’ as of late, not Democrats or President Obama. Below is an excerpt from the article showing some of the repugican cabal’s ‘greatest hits’ since Obama has been President:
It continues as repugicans trade racial terms for culture-centric euphemisms. Newt Gingrich, in 2011: “Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works,” although most poor people of working age work. Paul Ryan, earlier this year: “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” And Swill O’Really said recently in a discussion about legalizing marijuana that the left’s position was that marijuana was harmless and “It’s blacks, you know, you get, you’re trapping the blacks because in certain ghetto neighborhoods it’s part of the culture.”
Blow also highlighted how repugicans have shot themselves in the foot with Hispanics.
As for Hispanics, repugicans seemed to make some headway when the shrub, who supported a pathway to citizenship, was in the White House. They shrank a 50-point Democratic advantage among Hispanic voters in 1982 to just 12 points in 2004. But, congressional repugicans destroyed that trend by passing an enforcement-only immigration bill in 2005, sparking nationwide protests, and leading to a 2006 midterm election in which the Democratic advantage among Hispanic voters for House races soared again to 48 percentage points.
Since then, we have seen further anti-immigrant legislation like Arizona’s Show-Me-Your-Papers law, Congress’s failure to move on comprehensive immigration and opposition to efforts to help the Dreamers. It has now culminated in an ugly wingnut reaction to the humanitarian crisis of undocumented children from Central American arriving at our southern border.
In the end, the repugican cries of a “war on whites” is nothing more than projection. The repugicans have been waging a war on blacks and Hispanics for years now and they finally realize it is going to cost them dearly for generations to come. The country is changing and there is nothing wingnuts can do about it. Gerrymandering, voter suppression and intransigence in Congress can only work so long. If repugicans insist on being solely the Old White Party, nothing is going to save them from being a regional political party with no chance of ever gaining the White House.

"Rich people vote their self-interest in every single election. Why don’t poor people?"

For more than two decades, Edwin Lyngar voted wingnut. Though government programs like WIC (Women, Infants, Children) and EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) were the only things enabling him and his wife to balance their budget at the end of the year, Edwin hated government.
At 20 years old, the college dropout had joined the service and married a pregnant 19-year-old fellow dropout. The young couple found themselves in severely straitened circumstances and in desperate need of help. They accepted WIC vouchers but, after waiting a long time in a long line for Food Stamps, they never made it to the head of the line. Deep feelings of failure and shame prevented them from securing the assistance for which their circumstances qualified them.
That, says Lyngar, is what damns poor repugicans at the ballot box – deep feelings of failure and shame. In his words:
I felt my own poverty was a moral failure. To support my feelings of inadequacy, every move I made only pushed me deeper into poverty. To make up for my own failures, I voted to give rich people tax cuts, because somewhere deep inside, I knew they were better than me. They earned it. My support for wingnut politics was atonement for the original sin of being white trash.
I ignored my own personal struggles when I made political decisions.
So Edwin continued to vote repugican. He voted the shrub in 2000 and 2004. In 2008, he voted libertarian "even though the utter failure of the free market was obvious". In 2010, however, he found himself unable to support his own tea party candidate. It was Sharon Angle, whom Lyngar describes as "an obvious lunatic". Instead he contributed to the Rand Paul campaign. He says that within months of the tea party victory, he realized and regretted his mistake.
I could only watch as the people I supported inflicted massive, unnecessary pain on the economy through government shutdowns, spending cuts and gleeful cruelty.
That was the turning-point for Edwin Lyngar, the moment when he finally "got it". In 2012 he voted to re-elect President Obama while wishing there'd been a major party even more liberal than the Democrats. In so saying, Lyngar wasn't voting against wingnuttery but for liberalism. It wasn't a backlash, it wasn't revenge; it was an awakening. After a 20-year nightmare of misguided shame about being poor, of voting against his own interests, Edwin Lyngar woke up and became a committed liberal. There's a keen irony in that his circumstances today are so much better in every way. After gaining his Bachelor's degree (free, courtesy of a federal program), he then used the GI Bill to get two graduate degrees. Both he and his wife are now professionals enjoying the comfortable middle class lifestyle they could barely afford to dream about when they were struggling.
After more than 20 years, Lyngar came to the realization that it was liberals who made his journey possible, not wingnuts whose policies threatened his livelihood and family's security every step of the way.
Edwin Lyngar's story can be found at Salon in Why I fled libertarianism — and became a liberal and I was poor, but a repugican cabal die-hard: How I finally left the politics of shame. He concludes the latter article with:
I wish I could take the poorest, struggling wingnuts and shake them. I would scream that their circumstances or failures or joblessness are not all their fault. They should wise up and vote themselves a break. Rich people vote their self-interest in every single election. Why don’t poor people?
In relating his own history of ingrained wingnut thinking accompanied by feelings of failure, guilt and shame, he answers that question with profound insight.

The scourge of small-money politics

The most corrupting force in politics, we are repeatedly told, is big money — super PACs, corporate lobbyists, rapacious oligarchs. And there’s plenty of evidence to support the claim.
(Photo illustration by Yahoo News, Screen photos by Getty Images)
But let’s be clear: It wasn’t big money that drove repugican House members, before they left town last week, to approve the first-ever Congressional lawsuit against a sitting president, when they should have gotten serious about a pressing border crisis. And it wasn’t big money that had gleeful Democrats doing backflips in the streets at calls from the conservative fringe to impeach Barack Obama.
What’s really fueling the hyperbole and dysfunction in Washington now isn’t one privileged special interest or another, but rather the mouse clicks of ordinary, angry Americans whose $25 contributions add up to a mountain of influence. And in this way, at least, American politics has finally caught up to where the rest of society is going.
We have met the true enemy of rational debate, and, what do you know: It’s us.
There was a time, not long ago, when it seemed to a lot of us that Internet fundraising would be its own kind of campaign-finance reform — a way for thoughtful Americans to wrest the political process from institutional contributors. A Democrat funded by individual, small-dollar contributors wouldn’t be beholden to unions or trial lawyers. A repugican relying on ordinary voters would be able to face up to climate change, for instance, without fearing the backlash from energy companies.
John McCain (the 2000 version) was probably the first candidate to exploit that potential, raising millions literally overnight — at a time when even savvy Americans were using dial-up connections — from younger, reform-minded repugicans and independents who responded to his outsider appeal.
Four years later, Howard Dean stunned the establishments of both parties by relying on small-dollar donations to easily beat the rest of the Democratic field in fundraising right up to the eve of the primaries. And Dean’s feat seemed modest compared to what Barack Obama did in 2008, relying on an online universe of first-time donors to shatter fundraising records and erase Hillary Clinton’s vast advantage among corporate cash bundlers and interest groups.
Even then, though, niche candidates who wouldn’t have had much impact in the analog age were starting to figure out the fundraising potential of playing to darker, more divisive impulses. In 2009, an unknown Republican congressman named Joe Wilson raised something like $2 million in less than a week, and all he had to do was interrupt the State of the Union address to call the president a liar.
And soon you had the likes of Michele Bachmann calling Obama un-American (which helped her raise enough money to fuel a run for president) and Alan Grayson, an obscure Democratic congressman, calling repugicans “knuckle-dragging Neanderthals” and sucking up contributions like a tractor beam. And then all of Washington started to figure out that there was real money in catering to the extremes.
On the repugican side, small-dollar contributions have enabled the rise of a new generation of outside groups that are always willing to outdo the cabal apparatus by going that extra step toward complete hysteria.
Last week, for instance, the repugican coven for House candidates went after small donors by trumpeting the lawsuit Speaker John Boehner and his caucus had voted to bring against Obama. That lawsuit was a pretty extreme step in itself, but as a fundraising appeal, it was trumped by the tea party groups who managed to up the ante yet again, calling for Obama’s impeachment. Allen West, a favorite among lunatic fringe wingnuts, authored an online appeal for his own PAC that included a “poll” with just one question: “Has Obama committed an impeachable offense?”
Of course, the mere mention of impeachment elated Democrats, who already thought they had hit gold with Boehner’s lawsuit and couldn’t believe that their run of good fortune had only just begun. The committee in charge of raising money for Democratic House campaigns soon announced that it had recorded its most lucrative week ever, logging almost $5 million in mostly online contributions; according to the party, the average gift was less than $20, and some 52,000 people gave for the first time.
Not that any of this stopped those same Democrats from sending out increasingly desperate and absurd appeals as the week ended, sounding as if the entire party was about to hand over its keys to the Koch Brothers if more checks didn’t start rolling in immediately.
“All hope is lost,” moaned the subject line on a Democratic email sent the very same day that the party closed out its historic week. “News just broke that Boehner shook down his tea party repugicans THIS MORNING for last-minute cash. … We just ran the numbers: it’ll take another 8,947 donations before tonight’s midnight fundraising deadline to be able to compete.”
Really? Not 8,946? Do people really believe this stuff?
The answer is, it doesn’t matter — these solicitations are meant to appeal to emotion, not reason. They’re aimed at the lowest common denominator of outrage. (“Hit the button! Now, now, now!”) And you can bet they’re driving the governing agendas in both parties, rather than the other way around.
It’s tempting to blame politicians for all this, but really, as is generally the case, they’re simply reflecting the culture at large. The truth is that too often in this early stage of the Internet, the sheer volume of clicks matters more than the substance of the issue. The institutional influence of the last era is slowly giving way to the tyranny of a motivated audience.
We in the news media certainly know this phenomenon. For years, we were taught that giant advertisers represented an irresistible temptation toward corruption, and we had to wall them off from anything having to do with news and editorial stances in order to avoid a conflict of interest. It was a mission we took more seriously than a lot of readers believed.
But look now at all these “most emailed” and “most shared” lists on any given day, dominated by drum-beating commentators that rally one side or the other. Does anyone imagine that the new metrics don’t encourage shriller commentaries and a shallower debate?
You can argue that advertisers and ideological readers are fundamentally different influences — that one force is driven by profit and the other purely by conviction. But from a consumer’s perspective, they bring about the same result, which is a skewing of coverage toward predetermined conclusions and away from complex truths.
It turns out that small concentrations of readers and small-dollar contributors can be as corrupting to the nation’s public life as corporate advertisers and big-money bundlers. And we haven’t yet figured out how to deal with that corruption by mob, or whether we even want to.
Like a lot of my fellow futurists, I once believed that the democratizing of information and political power — the ability of individuals to weigh in collectively — would make for a more inclusive and more enlightened political debate. Now I’m not so sure it works that way, unless we can train ourselves to be less easily manipulated by party committees and self-interested partisans, and unless our leaders can resolve to actually lead, rather than follow the loudest noise.
If that doesn’t happen, then maybe the fundraisers are right, and all hope is lost, after all.

Ziggy

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Neuroscientist Arrested for Pointing Rifle at Women in Phoenix Airport

Respected neuroscientist Dr. Peter Steinmetz, MD, PhD, didn't really have any specific business at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix last Friday-he says he was just looking for some coffee.
He just happened to have an AR-15 rifle slung around his shoulder at the time.
Now the 54-year-old director of the neuroengineering program at the prestigious Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix faces two counts of disorderly conduct for displaying a deadly weapon after he allegedly pointed the weapon at two women in the airport.
According to police, Steinmetz bought a cup of coffee at the airport, then walked to a lobby near some gates where he removed the rifle from his shoulder-leaving the muzzle pointed squarely at a woman and her 17-year-old daughter in an airport waiting area.
The two told authorities that they feared for their safety. There is no word on why he had the rifle with him at the airport, or if the weapon was loaded at the time of the incident.
Under Arizona law, Steinmetz was allowed to carry the rifle into non-secure parts of the airport-but actually pointing it at anyone is a different matter.

Clear Link Found Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Alzheimer's Disease

by Beth GreenfieldBeth Greenfield

Older adults who are severely deficient in vitamin D may be more than twice as likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease than those who don’t have a deficiency, according to the largest study of its kind, published Wednesday in the journal Neurology.
Clear Link Found Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Alzheimer's Disease“We expected to find an association between low Vitamin D levels and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but the results were surprising — we actually found that the association was twice as strong as we anticipated,” noted lead researcher David Llewellyn of the University of Exeter Medical School in a news release.
Llewellyn, who could not be reached for comment by Yahoo Health, looked at several years worth of data on 1,658 Americans ages 65 and older who had taken part in the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute’s Cardiovascular Health Study. He and his team found that adults who were just moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 percent increased risk of developing dementia — the general term for any severe decline in mental ability — while the risk jumped to 125 percent for those who had a severe deficiency. Similarly, for Alzheimer’s disease — the most common type of dementia — the moderately deficient adults were 69 percent more likely to develop it, while the severely deficient had a 122 percent increased risk.
“Clinical trials are now needed to establish whether eating foods such as oily fish or taking vitamin D supplements can delay or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” Llewellyn said. “We need to be cautious at this early stage, and our latest results do not demonstrate that low vitamin D levels cause dementia. That said, our findings are very encouraging, and even if a small number of people could benefit, this would have enormous public health implications given the devastating and costly nature of dementia.”
Currently, more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, which is the sixth leading cause of death in this country, according to the Chicago-based Alzheimer’s Association. One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. “We think this study is important,” Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach with the Alzheimer’s Association (a major funder of Llewellyn’s research), told Yahoo Health in response to the findings. “It’s a relatively large study, and it looks like it does show a pretty substantial link.… It just doesn’t show us why there is a link.” One hypothesis, Fargo noted, is that the brain — including the hippocampus, which is one of the first areas to break down with Alzheimer’s — is full of vitamin D receptors.
There has been a growing body of research on the disease’s connection with vitamin D — the main sources of which are sunshine and supplements, with minor sources including egg yolks and oily fish like salmon and sardines. Earlier this year, a study out of Denmark, for example, also showed a link between Alzheimer’s disease prevalence and low levels of vitamin D, while earlier studies conducted in Australia and France found tenuous connections between taking doses of vitamin D and having an improved memory. The vitamin has also been linked, in various studies, to preventing asthma, diabetes, and cancer.
Can Vitamin D deficiency lead to Alzheimer’s?“People tend to not believe vitamin D news, because it seems too good to be true,” John Cannell, MD, executive director of the California-based nonprofit Vitamin D Council, told Yahoo Health. “But vitamin D has a profound mechanism of action, as it’s really a steroid hormone that turns genes on and off, and no other vitamin works that way. There are at least 1,000 different genes directly influenced by vitamin D.” The council recommends a combination of cautious sun exposure combined with supplements in winter months.
Cannell called the new study’s findings “pretty exciting,” mainly because of its size and structure. “It’s important because it’s the first cohort study of a large population — meaning that it’s forward-looking, having followed people over several years,” he said. “The next step is a randomized controlled trial, but this is as close as you can get without that.”

 

How 9 Site-Specific Foods Got Their Names

You could debate which country boasts the best local food and flavor, but one thing is clear: Some of our favorite foods have been stamped with approval by the nations that concocted them. We all benefit as a result, though we take for granted the origins and stories that led to these gastronomic wonders.

Here's a look at how some traveling cuisines, cocktails and snacks got their starts.

Gummy Peppers

How many times have you enjoyed a gummy candy of one sort or another and wished that they were available in hit pepper flavors? Wish no more! Vat19 has gummy candy containing jalapeño, habanero, and ghost pepper! They’re still candy, with candy flavors. The candy shaped like a jalapeño pepper is green apple candy, the habanero is orange, and the red ghost pepper is cherry flavored, yet they have the heat of pepper powder or oil -and they are pepper-size, too. And they are sweet: the first ingredients are corn syrup and sugar. Spicy Gummy Peppers are available in a three-pack, one of each flavor, for $9.99. Don’t mix them in with your other gummy candies.

Random Photos

An Australian Blue Heeler takes a nap on the flock of sheep that it herded. Now that's what I call sleeping on the job!

The Laughing Gas Experiments of 1799

Humphry Davy, before he became President of the Royal Society, experimented on himself by inhaling large amounts of nitrous oxide, the laughing gas that dentists use today. Beginning in April 1799, the 20-year-old chemist not only inhaled it, but recruited his friends for nitrous oxide sessions to see if they achieved the euphoria he found. It sounds like a party.
In the early summer of 1799 the nitrous oxide trials began in earnest. In the evenings, after the Pneumatic Institution had closed, the nitrate of ammoniac reaction would begin to bubble in its upstairs drawing room as Davy and Beddoes’ circle – doctors and patients, chemists, playwrights, surgeons and poets – experimented on themselves and each other. Davy was master of ceremonies and also, by his own account, inhaling the gas himself three or four times a day. The laboratory became a philosophical theatre in which the boundaries between experimenter and subject, spectator and performer were blurred to fascinating effect, and the experiment took on a life of its own.
Cosmic. Davy’s interest in nitrous oxide went from the medical to the metaphysical, as he explored the consciousness-expanding properties of the gas. To his dismay, he found that when others tried to describe the experience, the words of the English language were inadequate. As his friends lost interest over the summer, Davy continued to inhale the laughing gas -for research purposes, of course. Read about the experiments, and how his odd writings on nitrous oxide and its effects made him a star in scientific circles, at the Public Domain Review.

Weather Observer Sets Record for Reliability

Richard G. Hendrickson called the National Weather Service on July 1, 1930, and told them the weather conditions at his father’s farm. And he continued to do so every day, beginning a volunteer job that continues today. Hendrickson has been reporting conditions from Bridgehampton, New York, for 84 years -a U.S. record.
Twice a day, every day, he has recorded the temperature, precipitation and wind from the same area of Bridgehampton. He has been at it through 14 presidencies, 13 New York governorships and 14 mayoralties in that city 96 miles away. The Weather Service says he has taken more than 150,000 individual readings.

His is the longest continuous streak in the history of the Weather Service, which has 8,700 such volunteers nationwide, including 55 in the New York area. The agency says he is the first to serve for more than eight decades. And to answer the obvious question, yes, he has been known to take the occasional vacation. In his 20s, he went to New Zealand — “as far away as you can get,” he said. His mother filled in at the weather station.
In honor of Hendrickson’s service, the Weather Service has inaugurated the Richard G. Hendrickson Award, and made him the first recipient. Hendrickson is 101 years old, and continues to check the weather station at his farm twice a day. Read more about this remarkable man at the New York Times.

Rosetta Comet Rendezvous Is A Triumph For The European Space Agency

Space probe Rosetta was launched 10 years ago to meet with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It wil be the first space mission in history to rendezvous with a comet, escort it as it orbits the Sun, and deploy a lander.
The spacecraft entered deep-space hibernation mode in June 2011, and 'woke up' on 20 January 2014. Rosetta has arrived at the comet in August 2014, and will deploy the Philae lander in November 2014.

Daily Comic Relief

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Wikipedia Refuses To Delete Photo As 'Monkey Owns It'

British nature photographer David Slater was in Indonesia in 2011 attempting to get the perfect image of a crested black macaque when one of the animals came up to investigate his equipment, hijacked a camera and took hundreds of selfies.

Now David Slater wants Wikipedia to stop distributing his most famous shot for free because it is used online without his permission. But Wikipedia refuses to delete the photo because Slater didn't take the photo. A monkey pressed the shutter button and should own the copyright.

Forgetful LAPD chief denies, then admits buying $6k horse from his daughter for police department

 LAPD Chief Charlie Beck angrily denied having any involvement whatsoever in the purchase of a $6,000 horse from his daughter for the LAPD's equestrian unit. But when the LA Times published documents with Beck's signature approving the deal, the chief suddenly “realized” it.
The Times reports that the Board of Police Commissioners President Steve Soboroff "did not believe the chief intentionally misled officials so his daughter could profit."
LAPD Chief Beck admits his involvement in department horse deal

Walk Like A Man

Filmed on Monday in Jefferson Township, New Jersey.

Snake Insistently Plays Dead ...

... And Is A Giant Ham About It
Playing dead is a common defensive move among animals. But the hognose snake is insistent about it. At the end of the video, they try to flip the snake the right way around, and it almost instantly ripples its body so that it's on its back. As if it's saying, "I'm DEAD, okay? Leave me alone."
The other sign of commitment? The open mouth with tongue hanging out. Looking into the hognose snake reveals that the fake out is the only move in the hognose's tool bag. First, they'll puff out the skin around its head and neck to pretend to be the much more dangerous cobra. Even going so far feint lunging bites.
And if that doesn't work, playing possum is next. Flipping over on their back, tongue out, even emitting a smell like a corpse. Nice try, hognose. But, like so many actors, over-committing to the role rumbled you.